Dreams in the desert

Deborah Meroff

God is preparing the way for a spiritual awakening in the Gulf

IMG_0907It’s the planet’s largest importer of gold and boasts the tallest building, the fastest power boats, the richest horse races and the biggest shopping mall. The United Arab Emirates delights in breaking world records–maybe because Emiratis themselves still marvel at their newfound wealth. The discovery of oil has catapulted the UAE from camels to Cadillacs, from shifting sands to six-lane highways and from tents to state-of-the-art office blocks–all within the space of 50 years.

Not all Western imports to the Arab world have been beneficial. Drugs and alcohol are serious problems, and an over-indulgence in fast food has turned one in five residents into diabetics. The initial oil wealth has attracted enormous levels of foreign labour– western management and expertise combined with low cost manual and semi-skilled labour from South Asia –and this has resulted in spectacular economic…

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